July 22, 2014

Elyria
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Avon Lake native getting hotter on ‘Phenomenon’

Angela Funovits proved she was a real hottie on Wednesday night`s third episode of NBC`s reality show “Phenomenon,” a competition for “the next great mentalist.”

After three male contestants were sent home at the start of the episode, the Avon Lake native and four remaining men set out to impress and entertain a Los Angeles studio audience, millions of home viewers and famed illusionists Uri Geller and Criss Angel.

Performing third on the live 8 p.m. program, the 20-year-old medical student studying to be a cardiologist again showed the poise and presence that has helped her stay alive in the competition, which hosts its final event next week, in which three remaining contestants will take part.

On Wednesday night`s show, Funovits` fellow contestants used various items in their routines including voodoo, poisonous snakes and hydrochloric acid.

With the help of Kendra Wilkinson, one of a trio of former Playboy models and stars of NBC`s former “Girls Next Door” series, Funovits performed a trick using fire.

After asking Wilkinson to write the name of someone who had made a big impact in her life on a slip of paper, Funovits burned the crumpled paper in the flame of a candle.

The fire, Funovits said, would help her figure out the name on the paper.

Funovits asked Wilkinson to concentrate on memories of the person Funovits lit a large torch and began passing her hand above the flame.

“This was someone who left you a long time ago that you wanted the chance to have a larger relationship with,” Funovits told her.

Wincing in pain, Funovits then passed the lit torch beneath her right leg as Wilkinson joked “you`re the one who started the fires,” a reference to the massive wildfires that recently devastated California.

Finally, Funovits asked Wilkinson for the name of the person, to which Wilkinson answered: “Eric Wilkinson,” her father.

And then came the ta-da moment: Funovits pulled back a towel she`d been pressing on her leg where the flames had passed moments before. There, in what looked to be welts, was the name “Eric.”

Geller and Angel repeated remarks they made last week – noting that Funovits has an impressive stage presence and charisma.

Angel, however, said that while the segment was entertaining, she didn`t exude the same level of confidence that she had before.

Geller, however, was more than complimentary about the performance.

“You`re smokin` hot,” Geller said.

Contact Steve Fogarty at 328-7139 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com.